How to Charge What You’re Worth, Even if You’re a Brand New Stylist!

by Aug 14, 20180 comments

It’s time to get them dolla bills y’all


A few years ago, we decided to build a New Salon in a very OLD building. This equated to many issues including plumbing, as well as a delayed opening and a significant lack of cash flow not only for the salon but for the stylists that were eagerly awaiting their new “hair home”. 

Everyone was eagerly waiting to get into the new space.

If you’ve ever tried to renovate a building and open a new salon, you’ll know that something always get’s missed. Well this time there was an invoice outstanding from an awesome plumber, and somehow we misplaced the invoice.

The service we got from the company was excellent and really helped us out in our time of need, but we failed to return the favor and clear our bill as fast as we could.

So, one day we got a letter in the mail that said if you don’t pay this bill by such and such a date that we will come and remove the work we had done.

“I won’t stand for being disrespected when we provide quality work, and when you don’t pay your bill you’re not just disrespecting me, but you’re stealing from my family. “

Holy crap, this was like a punch to the gut… but he was 1000000% right!

Too often we forget we’re working with real people, with real jobs, with real families, with real lives.
Just like sometimes our clients think of us this way.

And to tell the truth I had never thought of it that way, and this made me felt like shit. I never intended to steal from this guy or his family, but he’s right, if the bill wasn’t paid it was exactly like stealing. How often do we really think about it as stealing when we don’t pay a bill or when a client doesn’t pay theirs?

We sometimes sluff it off as a cost of doing business and that we’ll get the money eventually or we’ll recoup it somehow.

Something that I was always guilty of as a stylist was giving discounts left and right just because I loved what I was doing so much, or because someone was having a tough time, or whatever the case may have been that day…….

Most likely due to a lack of self-confidence now that I look back.

But the reality is, that our small businesses live and breathe based on cash flow.

Charging what we’re worth and collecting in a timely manner is how we keep food on the table, it’s how we pay for our kids’ daycare and how we put clothes on their backs. Let’s not forget to mention keeping the lights on, the house warm and the water flowing too.

Now, aside from the basic human needs that we must pay for. How about the fact that as a top stylist- you MUST stay on top of your craft. This means taking current training,  You MUST look the part.

We need to remember that our time is worth money. It may be overwhelmingly stressful to decide how much you should be charging, or it may cause your anxiety to go through the roof when you need to talk to a client about money- remember- you’ve done your job to the best of your ability and done the work that was requested of you. You deserve to get paid.

 “What are you telling the universe about money, when you’re willing to walk away and not collect? It’s time to tell the universe that you’re ready for money”.

If you are working your ass off, and doing great work- you should never be struggling to pay your bills.

That’s why one of my missions is to make sure that stylists charge and get paid what they’re worth.

Nine times out of Ten we don’t charge enough. When we meet with small salon owners and stylist, our advice is usually to double what they’re charging, especially if they’re just starting out.

You should be charging at least $50/hr for your services, if not $75/hr or more. You also need to take into consideration, your prep time, completing extras that are requested by clients, and the time it takes to tidy up after, not just the end result.

For example, I have a really great friend who sells graphic T-shirts. They do an amazing job and are swamped with orders. However, they’re doing custom designed t-shirt decals; whatever you want for $35.

Now this model works if you have a library of 1000’s of pre-made designs and you only need to heat press it onto a shirt. But you’re not accounting for your time when you’re spending one to three hours on a custom design for each client.

You need to charge for the prep work as well as the end product, plus materials and everything in between.

Imagine if a restaurant only charged a 10% markup on the total cost of the food you have on your plate. You could never stay in business.

A prof I had in college who once said that you need to charge 3x what you want to get paid. So, if you come from a job and have the J.O.B. mindset, and you want to get paid $25/hr, then you need to charge $25 for your time, $25 for your materials, and $25 for your rainy days.

So that would put you at $75/hr.

You could also base your hourly rate on what you would like to get paid per day. If you want to make $500/day for a 10-hour day, then you would divide the $500 / 10 hours and get $50/hr.

I think all business owners or entrepreneurs should base their time off at least a $500 day. Then work your way up to $500/hr :).

The amount of money we charge, and the amount of money we feel confident charging has a lot to do with our mindset. It may be partly what the market will allow, but even then, if you want to offer premium services, your mindset needs to allow it.

The problem we run into is that we’ve never been taught about money. If you come from a home who has poor money management skills, you’re probably following in their footsteps.

This is a prime reason why people who win the lottery are in a worse of position 5 years later. They’ve never experienced money, and they don’t know how to a manage it. They buy more than they can afford and when the money runs out, they declare bankruptcy.

Only a few lottery winners actually keep some of the money.

But what’s it like in business? How many small business owners can visualize the money breakthrough and actually keep the money?

How many actually keep the cash flow going?

Ask yourself, if your company were to make a million dollars next month, would you know what to do with it?

Do you even think it’s possible to do that? Maybe not right now, but can you see your salon or a series of salon’s with your name on it doing that in the future?

A 12 million dollar per year company isn’t as crazy as it sounds. In fact, when you think about a company making 12 million in a year, that seems small. Right? I mean compared to what other companies make.

So where do you start?  Where do you want to go?

Even if you don’t want to be a millionaire, even if you don’t want a 12-million-dollar company. There’s tremendous value in removing the limitations we have surrounding money.

We often hear the phrase, “money doesn’t make people happy” or “rich people aren’t happy” … and well that depends. Happiness is self-determined, you decide if you’re happy or not.

What money does, is removes unwanted stress from our lives. It allows us the freedom to live the life we want and serve our clients and our family to the best of our abilities.

If you’re worried, stressed, or have anxiety about money or paying the bills, then how can you give the best of you to your clients?

You can’t. Plain and Simple.

You need to charge what you’re worth, and you need to keep that cash flow, flowin’ baby!

Remember: Our success is determined by the value we believe we’re worth. The size of the dream we allow ourselves to dream. So Think Big, Dream Big!

That’s our mission at Stylist Nation – To help you build your brand, charge more, and to live a crazy awesome existence doing what you love, every, single, day!

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